Pattullo Bridge replacement is one of a group of major construction projects due to begin in B.C. with union-only labour. (Black Press Media)

Pattullo Bridge replacement is one of a group of major construction projects due to begin in B.C. with union-only labour. (Black Press Media)

LETTER: Compulsory trades training for B.C. apprentices makes sense

B.C. Building Trades women’s group endorses NDP’s move

Re: Compulsory trades next battleground for B.C. industry, Black Press, Jan. 5, 2021

We are pipefitters, electricians, insulators, refrigeration mechanics, commercial transportation mechanics, sheet metal workers, traffic control specialists and carpenters.

We are also tradeswomen and members of Build TogetHER, the women’s committee of the BC Building Trades. And we support the B.C. NDP government’s move to restore compulsory trades. Here’s why.

When a trade is designated compulsory, it means that anyone working in that trade is legally required to register as an apprentice or journeyperson with the appropriate training authority. An apprenticeship is typically a four-year process that combines classroom time with the job site hours prescribed for that trade to achieve journeyperson or Red Seal status.

The previous B.C. Liberal government eliminated compulsory trades in this province, and B.C. continues to be the only province in Canada that doesn’t have them. What does this mean? It means that, legally, anyone can wire your house or work on the brakes on your car.

The B.C. Liberals also diluted apprenticeship training by compartmentalizing in-demand skill sets. This was done with no thought to the future or what workers actually need to sustain lifelong careers in the trades.

Take the economic fallout from COVID-19, for example. For some of us, a fulsome apprenticeship meant that we were able to pivot our skills at the start of the pandemic when certain jobs were delayed or scaled back – like the planned expansion at YVR and the LNG Canada facility in Kitimat. We were dispatched to other jobs because, thanks to an apprenticeship, we have the full scope of skills and training for varied work.

Compulsory trades go hand in hand with a well-managed apprenticeship system. Together, they ensure B.C.’s trades workers can safely and competently build and maintain the roads, bridges, utilities and infrastructure we use every day. Bring back compulsory trades.

Ashley Duncan, insulator, co-chair of Build TogetHER

Chelsea French, commercial transportation mechanic, co-chair of Build TogetHER

Julia Ballantyne, refrigeration mechanic; Kristine Byers, carpenter; Sarina Hanschke, traffic control; Barbara James, carpenter; Miranda Kurucz, steamfitter; Tara McDonald, sheet metal worker; Katy Rhodes, electrician; Mollie Routledge, electrician

B.C. Building Trades

BC legislatureBC politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Nanaimo area this weekend

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Nanaimo City Hall. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo councillors like new sustainable buying policy

Finance and audit committee recommends council approve new procurement policy

Action at the Nanaimo Curling Centre. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo sports organizations qualify for COVID-19 relief funding

Province announces support for curling, rowing, gymastics, softball, rugby, squash, football clubs

FOI records provided to the News Bulletin from the City of Nanaimo in 2018. (News Bulletin file photo)
Samra’s numerous FOI requests to City of Nanaimo aren’t ‘vexatious,’ privacy commissioner decides

Former CAO says records will assist her in a future B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Most Read